It's been a while since The Golden Age ran a "Community News" section. So here it is once again - but with a difference: rather than reporter-type articles (which no one seems interested in writing anyway), we've simply printed some excerpts from letters that premies have sent to The Age lately. Somehow it seems a bit more real this way …
Lou asked me if I would like to be the new Golden Age correspondent - so I thought I'd take this opportunity just to let you know what's happening in Perth.
I started out wanting to write a little article about Lou Scott and Marolyn Border's marriage: I know many premies know them since they've been around so long.
In a way it was really beautiful because Marolyn was saying just before the wedding that all we want in our life is to create an environment so we can practise Knowledge and that's true, I feel that's why the ashrams were sobeautiful.
We've really got a lot to give to Maharaj Ji, and to this world, but we've got to give a little to ourselves. We've got to give ourselves a chance to experience the beauty that's within ourselves. I don't know how it happens but I know when we practise Knowledge from love and not fear that we grow really fast.
I suppose it's because we really can relax and give ourselves. And it's to Knowledge we can give ourselves. I can't quite explain it but it's like in meditation it's so gentle - not a hard battle, but such a gentle transfer simply from what we're thinking into the experience of Knowledge, like walking from this world into Maharaj Ji's world. It's easy and uncomplicated but needs constant dedication and a lot of trust.
Back to the wedding - it was really simple, it was held at our Cottlesloe house, and all the premies and untold of Marolyn's and Lou's relations were there. It just reflected the way we've changed: everyone seemed to get on pretty naturally.
I don't know why, but things seem to be changing again. More people are going to satsang more often - just generally realising that the way Maharaj Ji has set it out really works the best. I really experience a need to learn from the past and let it help us grow now. We've changed a lot since '73 and I'm sure well change a lot more but it's only to help us grow in Knowledge.
Yes, Julie has been and gone. And what a breath of fresh air her visit was for us all! I have always had a soft spot for Jools anyway and to see her again, giving off so much clarity about Knowledge, certainly enhanced my whole appreciation of what it is I'm trying to do with my life, now that I have received this Knowledge. Julie's satsang provided a lot of premies with something that is always welcome and not very often accessible, that is the chance to hear about direct experiences of Guru Maharaj Ji, and to see the obvious benefits of that contact, in terms of bringing us back to the simplicity of Guru Maharaj Ji's task and approach. That is always refreshing and seemingly something which we desperately need in order to maintain some sort of perspective. Because definitely, many of us had slipped in our efforts in Knowledge, which tended to make us vulnerable to a lot of things such as focusing on our own interpretation of Knowledge rather than homing in on Guru Maharaj Ji's advice. In the end you find yourself quite a bit off the mark. But it isn't cause for lamentation as Julie made clear by just sharing her own understanding and insight at this point of time. She injected positivity and appreciation by her own example.
It was obvious that the days of "initiator visit blasts" are gone: the community seems to be picking up where Julie left off, in a gentle and sustained fashion. It is easy to become impulsive and just jump on the bandwagon when you discover something about yourself. But so often it can come from a very conceptual point rather than from something a whole lot more sound, such as your own personal experience of Knowledge. Julie's time was mainly taken up with giving satsang each evening at 332, giving a couple of Knowledge reviews and some informal daytime satsangs with both aspirants and premies. The whole visit was laid-back but powerful, and certainly cleared up quite a bit of confusion over all the changes. Premies were starting to grasp that the main consideration is to meditate for ourselves and become clear.
For myself, I understood that we cannot have any expectations or make any demands on this Knowledge or Guru Maharaj Ji, in terms of his visit or our own progress, or anything at all. As Julie said. "I feel really glad to be here," and I appreciated that, because when I consider the amount of effort I've gotten away with in giving myself to Knowledge - well, it's pretty meagre. But still I'm here and he's picking me up and giving me the opportunity of my life - and the test of my gratitude is how sincerely I apply myself (now!!).
- Kari Kristiansen
We're really looking forward to Julie's visit. Maybe for a change not that much is happening outside but something is really happening inside some people.
- Maureen Brand
Julie has left, but in her place Maharaj Ji remains, deep within our hearts. The intensity of her experience as Maharaj Ji's guest at Malibu bubbles through in her satsang, and I felt as though Maharaj Ji has made us all guests in his home and accepted each one of us with all our limitations just as he has accepted Julie. Julie's visit bound us all together again through our common experience of his love, our desire to serve him and to listen to more satsang. She emphasised the need for us to come together to share satsang, and reminded us that only through a united community can Maharaj Ji communicate directly with all his premies. It became more and more apparent how simple the practice of Knowledge is and must be, and just how much we have complicated it and missed that central point of love.
Julie held one Knowledge review in which she shared satsang about her experience in the Knowledge review with Maharaj Ji. His simple review of the meditation techniques, passed on to us by Julie, made us all very aware of just how coloured our daily meditations are by by our own concepts and expectations. Maharaj Ji alone could peel away those concepts with one stroke.
Remembering how thirsty I was for good, clear satsang before Julie arrived, and feeling how much it has increased my understanding and my love for Maharaj Ji, I am beginning to see the limitlessness of his love for us. Now more than ever I want to express my love for him.
- Carole Kerr
Things seem to have come together beautifully. The move to the more intimate and cosy atmosphere of Gray Road, quickly followed by Julie and "Keep on Truckin"', has brought the community together, and the rediscovery of devotion to Maharaj Ji is really showing up in lots of people's satsang, and in the smiling faces all around. Things are humming along real nice, with satsang seven nights a week again, and of course, the aspirants are getting excited. There looks like this time there'll be no turning back. (Touch wood - preferably a beragon!)
- Bruce Parmenter